By Leigh Ann Hubbard

About 6,000 Google searches related to senior living are made every day. Scratch that . . . 6,000 are made every hour, according to data presented at SMASH 2017.

People are clamoring for information online. To compete, your community needs to be one of the first and best at capturing attention and trust. That’s a lot of pressure.

“Today’s generation of seniors reads online reviews, is the fastest-growing demographic on Facebook, and will do a competitive analysis on you before your sales team says one word to them,” says Dave Grauel, director of marketing for Dreamscape Marketing (a Foresight partner).

In this competitive landscape, Dave and the Dreamscape team recommend focusing on the data. Knowing where your customers come from—and how they get to you—will help bring in more leads.

To that end, here are five stats every senior living marketer needs to know in 2021.

1. 60%+ of website visits are from smartphones

Does your website look great on a cellphone? In 2020, six in 10 site visits came from mobile devices, according to a study from Perficient. If your website isn’t easy to navigate on a phone, prospects are passing you by. (And yes, older people are using smartphones. In fact, 77% of people 50 and older use them, reports AARP.)

So why not check out your site on your own phone right now? If the print is tiny or it takes a while to load, you’re losing leads. You’ll want to get an expert on that redesign stat.

2. 86% of people ignore reviews older than three months

Reviews—even good ones—are obsolete after only three months, according to a 2020 BrightLocal survey. So keep an eye on how many recent reviews you have, and also how good they are. That overall star rating is important. For one thing, people can sort results by highest ratings, and you want to be at the top. But also, if your rating is low, people will count you out immediately. In the survey, 86% of people said they would not consider using a business with two stars or less.

3. Investing in SEO is 38% cheaper than working with a lead aggregator service

Investing in your own search engine optimization, instead of relying on aggregator sites to bring in the leads, saves you $0.38 on the dollar, Dreamscape Marketing has found. In addition, once you pay for SEO, it keeps working for you with minimal upkeep. Long-term, the cost per lead gets lower and lower. “So the first customer may cost $5,000, but the second customer may cost $5,” says Dave.

4. 90% or more move-ins are from people within 11 miles of the community

The vast majority of move-ins are ultra-local, Dreamscape Marketing’s data shows. Google searches are relatively local too, despite the fact that families are more spread out these days. Adult children shopping for Mom and Dad’s housing don’t necessarily live next door. But plug “senior living Florida,” into Google Trends, and the location with the highest popularity for that term is Florida, by a landslide. This is the kind of data that’s good to keep in mind when developing SEO and geotargeting strategies.

5. It takes more than 20 touches to convert

On average, people who move into an independent living or assisted living community have interacted with it more than 20 times. Communities must employ multiple contact methods to stay relevant and competitive. In addition to tours and phone calls, Dave recommends using the following touchpoints to stay top of mind without becoming annoying:

  • For the first touch and brand awareness: an SEO optimized organic listing and/or a paid ad
  • Retargeting ads (ads your visitors see after leaving your site), encouraging people to call you
  • A live, automated chat tool and/or a lead assessment tool on your website
  • Social media (including a Facebook page, groups, and ads) 
  • An email drip campaign for lead nurturing
  • Direct mail, with the goal of driving inquiries via your website

Work With an Agency to Bring in More Leads

Working with a marketing agency that specializes in reaching modern seniors can help you bring in more leads. Dave and the team at Dreamscape Marketing know data like this inside and out. They know what works.

Whether you need some mobile-friendly tweaks to your website, an SEO campaign, or an advertising strategy session, the folks at Dreamscape Marketing will lead you in the right direction. Email Dave through the form below, or call 833-681-1661 to discuss how to reach people who are searching for a community like yours.

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